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Was the Yorkshire Ripper serial killer a devoted Joy Division fan???


 
In his 2012 memoir, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, Peter Hook tells the tale of how he and Joy Division drummer Steve Morris were questioned in 1979 by police investigating the then-unsolved Yorkshire Ripper murder case. That year, Peter Sutcliffe’s reign of terror was at its height and Joy Division’s touring itinerary took them to some of the very same neighborhoods where the serial killer had killed his victims. With their touring schedule not dissimilar to the murderer’s movements, they were questioned about their activities around the North West of England that year.

Interviewed on Xfm radio, Hook explained:

“What happened was that every club we played in was run by a dodgy promoter in some dodgy part of town. We managed to play in the red light districts of Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Manchester and probably London as well. The police had asked the public to note down the license plate numbers of any strange cars in the area, so they could investigate them later. Somehow mine and Steve’s cars had gone in the system a couple of times and basically we got picked out!”

“Steve was very very nervous in those days and when the police questioned him, he lost it. He got taken to the police station and his mum had to come and rescue him. It was very frightening – they basically asked you straight out if you were the Ripper.”

 

 
Sutcliffe, who was questioned and released an incredible ten times, was pulled over by police for driving with false license plates in January 1981, and he ultimately confessed to being the Yorkshire Ripper. Now 72, he is serving 20 concurrent sentences of life imprisonment for murdering thirteen women and attempting to murder seven more.

This anecdote begs the question: Was Peter Sutcliffe was a devoted Joy Division fan? Perhaps he followed them around? Has anyone ever asked him?
 

Joy Division play “She’s Lost Control” live at Bowdon Vale Youth Club, Altrincham. Video by Malcolm Whitehead.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.28.2018
08:55 am
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‘Ceremony’: Peter Hook reanimates New Order’s classic first single
04.12.2017
11:36 am
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I’d hardly be the first to observe that “Ceremony” is THE emblematic song of Joy Division’s sometimes shaky transition to New Order after the suicide of JD singer Ian Curtis. It was a JD song that, tragically, was never properly recorded during the singer’s lifetime; only the live version on Still—from which half the vocals are absent—and a really crummy rehearsal tape are known to have survived, but the song became New Order’s first single.

While that single is imperfect, it preserves a magnificent song that could have ended up lost. The instrumental performances and production are excellent, but vocals were handled by guitarist Bernard Sumner, who’d go on to become the band’s main singer. His tentative, mannered, flat-affect singing style was a good fit for NO’s later work, but his rookie effort couldn’t approach Ian Curtis’ expressive depth, and so lines like “I’ll break them all/No mercy shown” land weightlessly. The song’s excellence still being amply evident, it went on to become one of the most-covered songs the band ever released, and it’s a badge for their determination to persevere in the face of tragedy, however wobbly their very public march towards their own post-Curtis identity was.

In recent years, estranged from his former New Order bandmates, JD/NO’s Peter Hook, the architect of a post-punk bass style so singular and genre-defining it’s still being copied 40 years later, has eschewed original music for a while to devote himself to the project of reanimating his bands’ earliest works. He formed Peter Hook and the Light with members purloined from his prior band Monaco, and they’ve spent the last several years producing concerts in which they’ll play an early JD or NO album in its entirety. They’re currently on tour performing both bands’ ‘80s best-of compilations, both titled Substance. (That tour’s schedule is why multiple attempts to interview Hook for this post fell through, to my lasting regret—his is a brain I’d love to pick.)
 

 
Doing the best-ofs sounds almost like an endcap to the project, as does the series of releases Hook is issuing this year, documenting live versions of Joy Divisions’ Unknown Pleasures and Closer, and New Order’s Movement and Power, Corruption, and Lies, but audiences are reportedly LOVING the shows, so while it’s a shame that Hook is no longer pursuing original music (all the more a shame given how very so-so the Hookless New Order album Music Complete was), who’s to say they shouldn’t/won’t continue?

On the album honoring Movement Peter Hook and the Light included the non-LP “Ceremony,” and it’s quite a good version. Hook’s vocals are far rougher than Sumner’s, which is surely why Sumner became the default singer as the band solidified it’s slick, synth-based identity, but Hook’s rawness better conveys the emotive strength of Ian Curtis’ lyrics. I’d stop WAY short of calling this version definitive, but it’s good to have available a well-recorded version other than Sumner’s.

Joy Division debuted the song at what ended up being their final concert (the one released on Still), and the only other recording ever made was the crummy-sounding rehearsal tape released on Heart and Soul, made four days before Curtis’ death. In his book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, Hook talks about where “Ceremony” fit in when the band decided to carry on:

The only thing we took from Joy Division—the only two things, actually—were the songs Ian had left us: “Ceremony” and “In a Lonely Place.” To one another we said, “See you on Monday,” and that was it. Me, Barney, and Steve got together on the Monday to work on the songs. I took the riff for “Dreams Never End” into rehearsal. It was weird because I was looking for Ian to tell me if it was any good or not. Realizing that we’d lost our spotter, our mentor. Realizing that suddenly we had to find a new way of working that didn’t rely on him. We had to learn to record everything, play it back, and pick out the good bits ourselves.

In Substance: Inside New Order, Hook details the how the recording of the “Ceremony” single with Martin Hannett solidified New Order’s division (sorry) of labor:

Despite the fact that Steve, to say the least, wasn’t keen on singing, he still tried out, and so did me and Barney. I think secretly both of us fancied being the frontman. But we were all shit according to Martin. At one point in Strawberry Studios we were recording “Ceremony” and Martin had decided to use all three of our vocals mixed together in the track at the same time. ‘The best of a bad bunch!’ he cried. Then he started cackling. But then Bernard insisted on having ‘just one more go’, and in doing so used up mine and Steve’s tracks, wiping them, so by the Time Martin finally threw up his hands and told us to fuck off, Barney’s was the only vocal left on tape. Which is pretty much how he became our singer.

Dangerous Minds is proud to premiere the stream of Peter Hook and the Light’s soon to be released version of “Ceremony,” after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
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04.12.2017
11:36 am
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Peter Hook to perform full Joy Division catalogue, marking the 35th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death
03.24.2015
09:27 am
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Some amazing news via NME:

Peter Hook has announced that he will perform the complete works of Joy Division at a one-off concert at Christ Church, Macclesfield in May. The date marks exactly 35 years since the death of the band’s singer Ian Curtis.

Hook and his current band, The Light, will play every single song the band recorded in chronological order, including both studio albums ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and ‘Closer’. They will also play the posthumously released ‘Still’ as well as B-sides and rarities.

Looking ahead to the Macclesfield show, Hook added: “For the 35th anniversary I decided that to do a proper celebration we need to play all the music. It will be every song that Joy Division ever wrote and recorded in one go. It’s a bit of a marathon! It’s 48 songs, comprising all the singles, B-sides, and album tracks. You know what – there’s not a duff one in it! I wish I could say that about New Order!”

 

 
Macclesfield is the town south of Manchester, England from whence Joy Division singer Ian Curtis originally hailed, and where he kept his residence at the time of his 1980 suicide—DM recently reported on efforts to preserve Curtis’ home. Hook’s concert will be titled “So This is Permanence,” a phrase lifted from the first line of the song “Twenty Four Hours,” from the LP Closer, and which was also the title of a rather lovely book published last year, which collects Curtis’ writings.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, March 25th at 9:00 AM, presumably GMT. Best of luck.

Enjoy this short but informative and quite good BBC segment on Curtis and Joy Division.
 

 
Bonus! Here’s Peter Hook giving a lesson on how to play JD’s signature song, “Love Will Tear us Apart.”
 

 
Much gratitude to Valerie Johnson for this find.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
The ‘rare’ ‘David Bowie’ Joy Division cover that hoaxed the internet
You knew this would happen: The inevitable Worf-Joy Division mash-up t-shirt
Ian Curtis’ original handwritten lyrics for ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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03.24.2015
09:27 am
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William Burroughs performs live at The Hacienda, 1982

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According to the gospel of Saint Anthony H. Wilson, Manchester, England, was the center of the universe during the 1980s and 1990s. Not only for its music, its talent, its imagination, and sheer brass neck, but also because it had the Haçienda, the fabled night club where you could see Madonna one night and William Burroughs the next.

Designed by Ben Kelly, The Haçienda opened its doors on Friday May 21st 1982. Owned by Factory Records and New Order (the latter plowed most of their earnings into the venue), it was given the Factory catalog number FAC51. The mix of who played there reads like an A & R man’s wet dream and included, New Order, The Happy Mondays, The Smiths, OMD, The Birthday Party, Husker Du, The Stone Roses, Oasis, James, Echo and The Bunnymen, A Certain Ratio, and Divine, amongst others. Mike Pickering, Graeme Park and Dave Haslam were host DJ’s, and in the late 1980s and 1990s, the club was the catalyst for Madchester - the music and drug fueled Second Summer of Love.

Yet, as it is said, all good things must end and the Haçienda closed down in 1997; and the club was demolished to make way for “luxury apartments” in 2002.

When Peter Hook (legendary bass-player with Joy Division and New Order), guest-blogged on the NME back in 2009, he recalled his top 10 Haçienda memories. At number three, was William Burroughs performance at The Haçienda, October 1982, of which Hooky wrote:

“That was one of those nights when there was hardly anyone in but it was quite intense because of what William Burroughs was doing. The funny thing was that one of Joy Division’s first gigs abroad was with William Burroughs, a William Burroughs evening in the Plan K in Belgium so we had a little bit of history with him ‘cos he’d told Ian to fuck off when he asked for a free book. Even at The Haçienda I didn’t ask for a free book either. I was as scared of William Burroughs as he was.

Burroughs was always impressive when presenting his work on stage, and this clip, posted by orange object, is a great piece of pop and literary culture.
 

 
Previously on DM

Divine performs in front of stunned punks in Manchester, England, 1983


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.18.2011
04:33 pm
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‘Chance’: Joy Division’s early version of the classic track ‘Atmosphere’, 1979

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This track “Chance” by Joy Division popped up on You Tube today - it’s listed as an “Unofficial Release - from the Piccadilly Radio session 4th June 1979.” “Chance” is an early version of the song that would later become “Atmosphere”.

According to Shadowplay a website dedicated to all of Joy Division’s recordings, the lyrics to “Chance” vary from “Atmosphere”:


“Chance”

Walk in silence
Walk away in silence
See the danger - always danger
Endless talking - life rebuilding
Don’t walk away - face the danger

Walk in silence
Don’t walk away in silence
See the danger - always danger
Rules are broken - false emotions
Don’t walk away

People like you find it easy
Always in tune - walking on air
They’re hunting in packs
By the rivers, through the streets
It may happen soon
Then maybe you’ll care
Walk away
Walk away from danger


“Atmosphere”

Walk in silence
Don’t walk away in silence
See the danger - always danger
Endless talking - life rebuilding
Don’t walk away

Walk in silence
Don’t turn away in silence
Your confusion - my illusion
Worn like a mask of self-hate
Confronts and then dies
[or on the Effenaar live version:
  Corrupts and then dies]
Don’t walk away

People like you find it easy
Naked to see - walking on air
Hunting by the rivers
Through the streets, every corner
Abandoned too soon
Set down with due care
Don’t walk away - in silence
Don’t walk away

The Piccadilly Radio also version has the following additional words:

I’m - I’m just crossing the line - just crossing the line
Trying to get back - right where I was
Back where I was - see me crossing the line
Don’t walk away—

Peter Hook allegedly claimed “Atmosphere” was Joy Division’s best song, not surprising then that it was voted the Greatest Song of the Millennium by listeners to the late and lamented John Peel’s BBC radio show.
 

 
Bonus clips of ‘Atmosphere’ and ‘Digital’ after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.17.2011
05:13 pm
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